Health Insurance – A Safeguard You Must Have
While, following a healthy lifestyle and good habits is important, it is equally important to be aware of the fact that health problems usually come uninformed. And the consequences of a health problem can be physical, emotional as well as financial. Although, preparing for everything isn’t possible, you can at least secure the financial part to ensure that you don’t end up burning a hole in your pocket.
Unfortunately, health insurance in India is highly neglected. Nobody wants to get sick, but we should understand that health problems are an undeniable part of our life. Hence, it is best to stay prepared for the financial consequences of it. Further, considering the rise in the incidence of diseases at a younger age, and the steady increase in the medical costs, it is imperative for everyone to get a health cover.
Health insurance protects you against the financial consequences of a medical treatment. Generally, a health insurance plan covers the hospitalization and the treatment expenses, including pre and post hospitalization, day care costs, ambulance charges, etc., in case of pre-specified illness. There is a list of health insurance companies in India offering a variety of health plans. So depending upon your requirements, you can purchase a suitable health plan.
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Types of Health Insurance
Before buying a health policy in India, you need to understand the different types of policies offered. Here are the types of health insurance plans: -
Mediclaim health insurance
Mediclaim health insurance provides cover against pre-specified illnesses, up to a fixed sum assured. In mediclaim insurance, cashless facility is also available wherein you can avail cashless treatment at a network hospital.
Mediclaim insurance is of two types: -
- Individual Health Plan - This is an individual health plan which provides cover up to the sum assured of the policy. The premium of the plan is determined according to the age of the insured.
- Family Floater Health Plan - This plan covers the whole family including self, spouse and dependent children. However, some plans cover dependent parents, parent-in-laws and siblings as well. The premium to be paid is determined by the age of the eldest member of the family. For a family, this option, in many ways, is the best health insurance plan in India as all members are covered under a single plan, and the sum assured of the policy can be shared across all the family members.
- Fixed Benefit Health Plan
A fixed benefit health plan provides a fixed sum of money for medical treatment, irrespective of the actual expenditure.
- Critical Illness Health Plan
Critical illness plan is especially for acute illnesses, such as heart attack, cancer, etc., which require continued medical treatment. This plan provides a lump sum amount for treatment upon diagnosis of a pre-specified critical illness.
A personal accident plan provides reimbursement for death and temporary or permanent disability, in case of an accident.
Health Insurance Benefits
Insurance providers offer different types of health insurance plans offering a range of benefits. The main benefits of health insurance include-
- In-patient hospitalization expenses including room rent, nursing, medicine, surgeon, anaesthetist, medical practitioner, consultant, specialist fees, and other services.
- Pre and post hospitalization expenses refer to the expenses incurred before a patient is moved to a hospital or after the patient is moved from hospital to home, respectively, for medical treatment.
- Day care procedures include procedures where the patient is not required to stay in hospital and can be done in minimum 24 hours.
- Organ donor expenses include the cost incurred in the organ transplant surgery
- Ambulance expenses for transportation to a medical facility
- Free health checkups
- Tax benefit under Section 80D of the income tax act
Health Insurance Exclusions
Before you buy a health plan, you need to compare different health insurance plans in India. Read the policy document carefully before purchasing a policy, to understand the policy terms and conditions. Besides the benefits, you need to know the exclusions of the policy as well. Here are the common exclusions of a health insurance policy: -
- Pre-existing health conditions - These conditions include any medical condition that you had before buying a health insurance policy. Health insurance policies do not cover the treatment of pre-existing diseases. However, pre-existing conditions can be covered after a waiting period.
- Pregnancy and related conditions - Any treatment arising from or traceable to pregnancy, child birth, abortion, infertility, etc. is not covered under a health insurance policy. However, many health insurance companies offer health plans that cover pregnancy and related conditions.
- Alternative treatment - Health insurance policies do not cover non-allopathic treatment. Alternative therapies such as Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani, Naturopathy, etc. usually feature in the exclusions list.
- Cosmetic surgery - Cosmetic treatments of any kind, including botox, liposuction, etc. are not covered under health insurance policies. However, medically recommended procedures like plastic surgery after an accident or injury can be covered.
- Dental, hearing and vision - Dental treatment, cost of hearing aids, contact lenses, laser surgery, spectacles, routine eye and ear examinations, etc. are not covered in a standard health insurance policy.
Things to consider when buying health insurance
Insurance companies offer various types of health policies, hence choosing the best health insurance available may be confusing. Therefore, comparison of health insurance in India is the first step to buying an insurance policy.
Here are a few things that you need to consider when buying health insurance: -
- Policy terms and conditions - Understand the policy coverage, and the terms and conditions, to know whether or not it meets your medical requirements. Further, keep reviewing your plan as you age. Choose a health plan that provides a comprehensive cover, and includes benefits like hospitalization, transportation, critical illnesses, etc. Also, make yourself familiar with the exclusions of the policy.
- Check the claim process - Check the claim settlement process, time and claim settlement ratio to know the efficiency of the claims process. Look for a provider with a good claim settlement ratio and which offers faster claim settlements.
- Network hospitals - Check the list of network hospitals and doctors to know whether it includes your preferred list of doctors and hospitals or not. Choose an insurance provider with wide network hospital coverage, both in and outside the country.
- Lifetime Renewal - Select health plans which offer life time renewability.
- Free Medical Check-up - Choose a policy which offers free medical check-up.
The effort to compare policies of health insurance companies in India is greatly eased by Insurance Inbox, as each iota of policy information is clearly explained. When you are buying Health Insurance at Insurance Inbox, our clear endeavor is to help you make the most well-informed choice.Get Insured Now